You may have seen examples of good manners in films and TV shows, but it’s not enough to give you a clear idea about the way you should behave at the table. Wondering what are good table manners? Check out these top 10 table manners right now!
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1. Let the hosts sit first
If it’s a formal dinner party, you can expect cards marking the seats assigned to each guest. If it’s a less formal event and you are free to choose your own seat, show off your knowledge of good table manners by allowing the hosts to sit first and then moving on to sitting yourself.
2. Using the napkin
An important part of the etiquette for a lady is the correct use of a napkin. If there is a fabric napkin folded on the table, put it on your lap immediately after sitting down. When you leave the table, put the napkin beside your plate. It’s also acceptable to tuck the napkin into your collar if you’re going to eat a potentially messy food.
3. Fork and knife
If you rarely use a knife at home, you may be confused about the correct way to use it. You can use this little memory trick to get it right every time: fork goes on the left because they are both four-letter words, and knife goes on the right because they are both five-letter words.
4. Cut one piece at a time
When you are served a large piece of food at the dining table, whether it’s a steak, a whole fish, a piece of chicken, or any other food served whole, one of the biggest etiquette missteps is cutting it into pieces at once. Instead you should cut one piece at a time, eat it, and proceed to cut the next one.
5. Sitting position
One of the most essential table manners to follow is the correct sitting position. Avoid slouching and try to sit upright for the duration of the event. As for the elbows, keep them off the table while eating, but it’s okay to sit and talk with your elbows on the table between meal courses.
6. Keep your phone away
This is one of the latest additions to the list of table manners: your mobile phone should never be placed on the table. Additionally, it is considered to be rude to take out your phone and check it during dinner, as well as answer calls. Place your phone on mute and resist the urge to look at it while you’re having dinner.
7. Don’t reach for far away objects
If there is something on the other part of the table that you need – for example, a salt shaker, a bread basket, or a juice pitcher – don’t make the mistake of trying to reach for it yourself. Instead you should ask the person sitting next to you to pass the needed object.
8. When can you eat with your hands?
Some cultures prefer eating almost any meal with their hands, but the general rule is that there is a limited list of foods you can eat with your hands. This list includes bread and most baked goods, pizza, French fries, fried chicken, and the group of appetizers known in Nigeria as small chops.
9. Drinking and eating
Drinks are an essential part of any kind of dinner, but there are certain rules associated with drinking while eating. Most importantly, you should chew and swallow your food before taking a sip of the drink, unless you are choking on the food – in this case you can drink water to help the food go down.
10. Finishing the meal
The universal rule for signalling that you are done with your food is placing the fork and the knife diagonally beside each other on the plate.
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